Sheffield Steelers back on top of Elite League after Justin Hodgman winner at Coventry Blaze

Sheffield Steelers capped a fine 48 hours’ work when they overcame hosts Coventry Blaze 2-1 to return to the top of the Elite League standings.

SWEETEST FEELING: Sheffield Steelers' defeneman Sam Jones celebrates his first goal of the season in the 2-1 win at Coventry. Picture: Scott Wiggins/EIHL.

The triumph comes just two nights after their 5-1 home win over Fife Fyers in the first leg of the Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Steelers’ bid to return to the top of the table was helped significantly by main rivals Cardiff Devils losing 1-0 in controversial circumstances at third-placed Belfast Giants.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Devils’ head coach Jarrold Skalde was left infuriated after his team had a late goal ruled out, while the Giants were able to close the gap on the top two to just three points.

In Coventry, GB defenceman Sam Jones got his first goal of the season with just 5.12 on the board, his shot from the blueline going through traffic to beat CJ Motte. only for the Steelers to see their lead quickly vanish when Ross Venus levelled 17 seconds later, beating Rok Stojanovič high from a tight angle.

It remained a tesnse, tight affair all night but, with 51.09 on the clock, Justin Hodgman proved to be the difference maker, a rebound off Tommaso Travera’s shot falling kindly for him to put the Steelers back ahead on the powperlay, the visitors holding out for two valuable points.

Aaron Fox’s team continue in league action on Saturday night when they host Guildford Flames for the second time in seven days, returning from Covid protocol last Sunday to win 4-3 in overtime at the Utilita Arena.

Elsewhere, former Steelers’ defenceman Mark Matheson made it four wins from four since taking over interim coaching duties with Stephen Lee at Nottingham Panthers, four third period goals giving them a 5-2 win at Glasgow Clan.